Third-Row Seat Belt Issues Causes GM to Recall Almost 500,000 SUVs

October 27, 2022

Recently, General Motors (GM) announced a massive recall of almost 500,000 Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac SUVs due to safety concerns over their third-row seat belts.

According to preliminary reports, these faulty seat belts may improperly restrain passengers during crashes and contribute to high-risk injury and even death. Months before GM announced the recall, many SUV owners had already reported problems with rear buckle assemblies. In many cases, parts of the buckle broke or came off altogether.

Lemon law lawyers in Los Angeles are ready for the oncoming wave of claims they’ll have to file in court this year. Learn more about how the GM recall may affect you and your vehicle.

Defective Third-Row Seat Belts Explained

This latest recall affects a variety of brands and models under the automaker’s full-size SUV line. The following vehicles, produced between November 2019 and May 2022, are involved in the recall:

  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • GMC Yukon
  • GMC Yukon XL 

In a series of documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the automaker noted that rivets in the third-row seat belt assemblies might not properly restrain passengers during a collision. 

The affected seat belts perform poorly when compared to other seat belt systems of the same caliber. GM suspects workers may have improperly followed production guidelines when assembling these units.

If you drive an SUV manufactured by GM, some seat belt red flags you should check for include:

  • Broken materials or debris
  • Signs of poor welding
  • Premature wear of belt buckles
  • Belt buckles that don’t engage correctly
  • Visual defects 

Although no significant injuries have been attributed to these third-row seatbelts, many owners of the affected SUVs filed complaints about the problem beginning in early 2021, which prompted an investigation by GM. Lemon law lawyers in Los Angeles may be your best resource if you suspect your vehicle is affected by this latest recall.

Faulty Seat Belts Lead to Injury

Any defect to a vehicle’s seat belt system can result in catastrophic injury during a car crash. When belt buckles don’t latch into place properly or become dislodged, the unit may be unable to restrain passengers in their seats. Occupants may be thrown around a vehicle. Even a minor collision can cause serious injuries when a seat belt malfunctions.

Drivers, passengers, and car manufacturers hold vehicle safety to high standards. When these safety components fail to work, thousands of people risk serious bodily injury and even death.

Seat Belt Safety Statistics

The NHTSA reported that seat belts saved upwards of 15,000 lives across the United States in 2017. 

Seat belts and safety restraints ensure that front-seat occupants don’t impact a dashboard or windshield during a crash. Regarding rear seat passengers, these devices are responsible for ensuring people remain in their seats and aren’t ejected. As such, seat belts are critical in saving lives. 

Official recall letters are expected to be mailed out to affected vehicle owners on September 26. Should you receive one of these letters, you should contact a lemon law lawyer in Los Angeles. California’s lemon law is often complex, and you’ll need the experience of a seasoned attorney who can help recover compensation for defective vehicles. 

Lemon Law in California: How a Lemon Law Lawyer in Los Angeles Can Help

Unfortunately, seat belt defects are common and not unique to General Motors. Over the past few years, many other manufacturers have announced recalls for their own vehicles with similar issues. 

Regardless of the make or model of your car, you should always talk with a lemon law lawyer if your vehicle has a seat belt recall. In Los Angeles, this recent recall may affect thousands of drivers. Taking the necessary precautions can help you avoid a potentially fatal injury. 

California laws protect consumers affected by safety or value issues. Any time a car presents defects to its seat belts, airbags, or structural integrity, you likely qualify for compensation under current lemon law statutes. These consumer protections apply whether you lease or own your vehicle. 

Every recall presents a unique challenge for car owners, but in most cases, a lemon law lawyer in Los Angeles can help you determine whether you’re eligible to receive:

  • A replacement vehicle
  • Cash compensation
  • Attorney fees reimbursed 
  • Miscellaneous damages awarded

A lemon law lawyer in Los Angeles is equipped with the experience to litigate a claim and help recover losses for affected car owners.

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